Sunday, September 27, 2015

Prior Viewing Experience - Harley Davidson & The Marlboro Man (1991)

I chose to write about this film because it is one of my favorite movies to watch and re-watch whenever I have nothing to do and get bored. Harley Davidson & The Marlboro Man is a movie about to old friends who get together to help someone who helped them a long time ago and is now going through a tough time, but their methods aren't exactly legal. The movie starts off with Harley standing in front of and looking out the window of a small apartment - looking room with a girl in his bed and himself lighting up a cigarette. This implies that he smokes fairly often and he can be seen smoking throughout the movie in a majority of lax scenes. There is a radio playing that gives information to the year and other big news for the supposed year they live in, which is five years after the movie comes out. I think this is to imply problems that were foreseen to occur at the time relatively soon,such as the smog alert, high gas prices, and a new and dangerous street drug called "crystal dream."
At the end of the radio broadcast which ends in "Happy birthday America!" Harley walks out on his partner of the night with no words - just a long look before he walks out the door. This is later revealed to be slightly ironic, when Harley and Marlboro are talking in a bar and Harley tells Marlboro about  a girl who broke his heart by leaving in the middle of the night with no words or a note; just an empty bed. The scene following the walk out is a montage of different locations across the United States, but headed west, which is supposed to imply to the viewer that he is headed towards the Pacific coast. After the montage, Harley is walking into a gas station to pump more fuel into his bike and despite it being in the middle of a stand - up. This scene reveals quit bit of his past and character with the attacker telling Harley to get on the ground and him saying "If I had a nickel for every time some piece of shit pointed a gun at me, I'd be a very rich man." and then proceeding to beat down both attackers.
Marlboro is introduced with his classic line of "My father used to say before he left this shitty world"... and that's really the only bit of a character introduction we get from him, except throughout the rest of the movie. Harley then appears in the same bar as Marlboro and catches him off guard right before a fight. The movie shows a patriotic favor when Marlboro's Kawasaki is shown to be burning oil and throwing clouds of smoke from his muffler and his reference when he gets to the home bar of putting the rice grinding horse out of it's misery. After shooting the bike several times, it symbolically falls on its side as if it were an actual horse being put down and dying. A form of foreshadowing is presented when the bar owner and apparent mentor for both of them is thrilled to see Harley but becomes serious for a moment when he says that he'll regret seeing him because he always does. Overall, I love this film because of it's action - based genre but strong brotherly theme. Harley and Marlboro seem to have this incredible brotherly bond even in their worst situations and with that bond comes their sense of humor that never ends, like when Harley shoots Marlboro accidentally and Marlboro just slaps him with his hat and says "You dickhead, you fuc*in shot me!" I love the subtle breaks in the movie that lead into each other, like Marlboro's right hand shooting towards the end because of his shot left arm or when his old man told him before he left this shitty world to never shoot an unarmed man which prevents the easy death of the bank CEO. An interesting note that I have not yet figured out is the mention of God and Heaven from Harley subtly throughout the movie. I also wonder why Marlboro was given an actual name in the movie at the end, but Harley always kept his alias.

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